clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The White Sox have hired Tony La Russa as manager and I can’t even...

This is one of the weirdest managerial hires ever.

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Well, they went and did it:

This... I almost can’t speak here. This has to be one of the most bizarre managerial hirings in history. Tony La Russa last managed nine years ago, in 2011. He’s nine years older than the current oldest manager in MLB, Joe Maddon, and Maddon’s a young thinker, more forward-thinking than his 66 years.

Here’s what La Russa said on his hiring:

Blah, blah, blah, it all sounds good, but Tony La Russa is 76 years old! He should be retired and enjoying life! TLR and his fellow Tampa-area native and friend Lou Piniella are about one year apart in age and Lou’s been retired from managing for 10 years. Most teams, when looking for a manager, are looking for younger, analytics-driven guys who will get along with the front office. David Ross was such a hire for the Cubs. How is La Russa going to get along with players young enough to be his grandchildren?

Further, this goes completely against what White Sox GM Rick Hahn said he was looking for:

I dunno about you, but I don’t think “2011” qualifies as “recent” championship experience. Baseball has changed quite a bit over the last nine years. Why do you think La Russa was hired? Here’s one person who gets it:

Oh, yes. Jerry Reinsdorf. The guy who put Hawk Harrelson in charge of his baseball operation in 1986, just in time for Harrelson to fire La Russa as manager — just before TLR went on to successful managing stints in Oakland and St. Louis. If you don’t think this is Reinsdorf trying to make that up to his buddy TLR... that’s exactly what this is.

The last time La Russa managed the White Sox, Tom Seaver was one of his starting pitchers, that’s how long ago it was. THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO! How long ago was that?

I haven’t checked to make sure, but I believe the oldest men ever to manage were Connie Mack, who owned his team, and Jack McKeon, who took over the Marlins in 2003 and... well, you know all about that. Both those men were in their 80s when they had their last managing positions, and other than that I believe La Russa will be the oldest man ever to manage a MLB team.

It’s absurd, in my view. It’s almost preordained to fail. And in case you were wondering:

When the Sox hired Ozzie Guillen as manager, Mike Bojanowski said to me, “This is either the smartest thing they’ve ever done, or the dumbest.” Well, the Sox did win the World Series under Guillen, so that worked out all right, even though he was later fired. In this case, I’d amend that statement to read, “This is either the dumbest thing they’ve ever done, or ... the dumbest.”

I think it’ll be a major failure. What say you?


Tony La Russa as White Sox manager...

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Smart idea!
    (138 votes)
  • 27%
    Dumb idea!
    (248 votes)
  • 57%
    Dumbest idea!
    (515 votes)
901 votes total Vote Now